Tiziano Vecellio c.1490-1576 was an Italian painter who was probably the most important member of the Venetian school, being described by his contemporaries as "the sun amidst small stars." Today's painting is also named as "Man with a Quilted Sleeve."
Oscar-Claude Monet 1840-1926 was one of the founders of French Impressionism. One of his customs was to paint the same scene over and over again to capture the changing of the light and the passing of the seasons.
Fildes 1843-1927 was a British painter and illustrator. When his wood engraving "Houseless and Hungry" depicting homeless paupers queuing outside the casual ward of a workhouse was seen by Charles Dickens, the author commissioned Fildes to illustrate "The Mystery of Edwin Drood."
Bouguereau 1825-1905 was a French academic painter and traditionalist. During his lifetime it is believed that he produced 822 paintings. Today's painting is one of the most popular at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Burne-Jones 1833-98 was a British artist and designer associated with the Pre-Raphaelites. The painting depicts a scene from Arthurian legend, the infatuation of Merlin for Nimue, the Lady of the Lake; he is trapped in a hawthorn bush while Nimue reads from a book of spells.
Joshua Reynolds 1723-92 specialised in portraits and promoted the Grand Style of painting which aimed at idealising the imperfect. He was the first president of the Royal Academy and was knighted by George III.
Courbet 1819-77 was the French painter who led the Realist movement in France. He once said that he "belonged to no school, to no church, to no institution, to no academy, least of all to any regime except the regime of liberty."
J.W. Waterhouse 1849-1917 was born in Italy to English parents, both painters. His Pre-Raphaelite style produced many paintings which feature regularly today in popularity polls. The above painting shows the Emperor with his favourites - birds!
Boucher 1703-1770 was a French painter in the Rococo style. Known for his classical themes and pastoral scenes, he also painted a number of portraits of his patroness Madame de Pompadour. The subject of today's painting was a mistress of Louis XV of France.
Caillebotte 1848-94, a member of the Impressionist group, was a French painter who also had a keen interest in photography as an art form. Today's painting was considered controversial because of its realist subject.
The new blog THE LANDSCAPES OF THE HUDSON RIVER SCHOOL begins today
Mary Stevenson Cassatt 1844-1926 was an American painter and printmaker.She lived much of her adult life in France where she exhibited among the Impressionists. She is particularly remembered for her studies of women and children.
Giovanni Bellini 1430-1515 was an Italian Renaissance painter. His father Jacopo Bellini, his brother Gentile Bellini and his brother-in-law Andrea Mantegna were also painters, and Giovanni had two pupils who later became famous, Giorgioni and Titian. The above painting was his first female nude.
Hendrick Avercamp 1585-1634 was one of the first landscape painters of the 17th century Dutch School. Many of his paintings show people ice-skating on frozen lakes. He was mute and was known as "de Stomme van Kampen" - the mute of Kampen.
This is probably the most famous painting of all time. The artist, who was born in 1452, began painting the picture in 1503 or 1504 and completed it shortly before he died in 1519. The subject is thought to be Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. The painting was acquired by King Francis I of France and is now in the Louvre, Paris where 6 million people see it every year
The painting illustrates an incident during the craze for tulips which had swept the Netherlands and much of Europe. The tulip had become a very valuable commodity and by 1637 when the market crashed speculators were left with very little of their original investments. In the painting a nobleman is shown guarding an exceptional bloom as soldiers trample flowerbeds in a vain attempt to stabilize the tulip market by limiting the supply.
Aivazovsky 1817-1900 was a Russian Romantic painter who is considered one of the greatest marine painters in history. The saying "worthy of Aivazovsky's brush" was coined by Anton Chekhov and came to mean "something ineffably lovely."